Category Archives: On Trial

22. Bored, Worried, Anxious…

It was now that I was told about the priest coming from Northern Ireland to give evidence; I asked if he was for prosecution or the defence, he told me that he was for the prosecution.  His evidence was that as a Child Protection Officer in the Birmingham Diocese in 1985 he reported to the police, and the Bishop, three cases of abuse by Robinson.  He went on to explain that the church got the investigation dropped.  The police did nothing.  The church did nothing.  I was not told the name of the priest.  But after the trial I was told it was Fr McA, from Antrim.

As it happened, after the trial, I was told that Fr McA did not attend the trial, owing to ill health.  But his statement was read out and accepted by both sides.

After two hours with me the police left, saying that they would be in touch with me as to when to appear.  I spent the next 10 days bored, worried, anxious and, I would say, partly terrified waiting for my time in court.  I had had many months to get very scared about giving my story to the court.  What personally was the worst was the public gallery.  This I feared.


21. Not Allowed To Return Home

Less than 7 days to go till the trial starts and the phone goes.  L.E. on the phone asking me to go to Lichfield as soon as possible to sign my statement.  It has to be signed before 9am, 4 October 2009, the day of the trial.  It was explained to me that I had to go without delay.  So after waiting 14 months it was at this point that the Police wanted me to sign it.  Talk about waiting till the last minute.

I got on the overnight ferry to Fishgard on Friday night at 10.00 pm, arriving in Wales at 2 am Saturday morning.  I then drove on through the mountains to the Midlands.  On the way I was very nervous, scared, full of fear of the next few weeks.  I think it is the fear of the unknown that is what I was scared of.  On the drive there I decided to go to the house, in Shelfield, where the abuse occurred.

I arrived there at the house at 5.30 am.  I stopped the car, and got out to look around me.  In front of me was the house that held all the secrets.  As I stood there I looked around and I noticed the area was different to when I last was there 49 years ago.  For instance, I vividly remember the road being a lot wider, a lot longer.  Also, there were no cars in the road back in those bad old days.  I then suddenly realised that my perspective had altered, as I had grown up.  The road now is very narrow, not at all long, and that day there were, I would say, 200 cars parked in it.  The house was still there.  I told the police that I could show them the house down to one of three, as they are semi-detached, they all looked the same to me when I was 11.

I then carried on to K’s house, where I planned to stay.  I got there at 6.30am and we were having tea and toast at 7.30 am when the front door bell went.  K went to the door and two police officers walked in.  I spoke to LE.  He explained that I had to sit down and read my statement.   I found this very, very difficult, as he was loitering next to me.  So I asked K to give him tea and toast whilst I did the job.  It took me at least 45 minutes and when I was satisfied, I signed it in his presence.  It was then that he asked me what I was doing now, as I was not wanted at the trial for another 14 days.  I said that I would return to Ireland.  He then told me that I would not be allowed to go home, under no circumstances. He explained that after the trial I could claim my loss of wages for the two weeks, off the church, as they would be compensating me.

This I believed.


20. Good, Sound Advice

A week before the trial I phoned a friend of mine, he is in the legal profession in Ireland.  We spoke on the phone and I told him that I had a problem.  I had to go to court.  He told me he could not talk about the trial.  Then I told him it was in UK, not Ireland, and he asked what it was about.  I told him in less than 60 seconds; at which he said to me, “Geoff, I’ve known you for many years and I know you can stick up for yourself, but be warned by me, do not tell one lie in court or you will be found out.”  “One lie and your evidence will be rubbished.”  With this advice I was asked to go see him, upon my return, to report on the proceedings and to arrange to do a lot of interior decorating for him.  It’s nice to have a friend.  I got good, sound advice and I got work for three weeks.  Great.


19. Lawyers

For the twelve months prior to the trial I had been speaking to a Lawyer in London. I spent many calls to him requesting help; help with my problems for the trial, and afterwards the compensation claim. He kept telling me that he could not help me till after the trial was over and I got a conviction. I kept saying to him that this trial is so important, not only for the victims, but for cover up that the church undertook. I made the point that there should be Lawyers in court getting details. But no, he refused, so I dropped it.

I then sent an email to a man who was in the “Deliver Us from Evil” film. He phoned me one night. He had a conference call with other Lawyers with him. I was on with the group for about an hour and he was telling me that he had arranged for 3 attorneys to travel to Ireland to interview me before the trial. Of course I believed it. He phoned me 3 or 4 times always saying he was going to help me, but no. He told me he had arranged for his Lawyers in London to be at the trial for the 3 weeks, but no. Why didn’t he just come out and tell me. I cannot stand lying. Not only did he raise my expectations, he made me look a bloody fool to J. She always told me not to believe them. She was right. When I met Jeff Anderson the first thing I told him was it was a pleasure to meet him and the second was “I can’t stand bullshit.” I emailed the other man three weeks after the trial to see what the outcome would be. He told me he could not help me, but he had arranged his lawyers in London to attend the trial. Yes, 15 day trial, someone attended for 2 days.


18. Paedophile Priest Father BW

In December 2009, I received a phone call from a priest that I had known for 8 years.  He was a very nice man (they always are).  This was Fr BW.  He wanted me to do work at his house and his girlfriend’s house.  I worked for Fr BW for about 4 or 5 weeks and, whilst working for him, I was told by an acquaintance that BW was under investigation for child abuse.  This news came as a bit of a shock.  But as work was short and this was, after all, business, I carried on regardless.

I was aware of his investigation although he was not aware of my situation with regards to the trial.  After I finished doing the work I was paid and I thanked them.  In 2010 Fr BW was convicted of child abuse and given an 18 month suspended sentence.  He walks around the town today, head held high, everyone saying, “Hello Fr BW.”  Drives me mad, no shame.

A few weeks later I drive into a petrol station for fuel and on the other side of the petrol pump was BW.  He looked at me, and when I got out of the car he said, out loud, “Hello Geoff.”  With this I said not one word.  I put out my hand and he shook it.  I clenched his hand and pulled him over to me.  As his hand and his face came towards me and I said, “BW, I had a lot of respect for you.”  He replied, “You only heard one side of the story.”  I looked him straight in the eye, less than 6 inches away, and said, “You pleaded guilty in court, you #@%! Bastard.”  He looked at me, shell shocked.  I walked away.  He stood there in disbelief.  I know one when I see one.  As I say, I’m not scared of priests any more.  I stick up for myself, I have always had to.


16. All My Life I Had Never Cried

All my life I’ve never cried.  But now, I’m an emotional  freak.

It was mid December and the police came to Ireland to interview J and my Doctor.  When the officers arrived, I insisted that they come to the house in an unmarked car, so that the neighbours would have no reason to talk about a police car on my property. The Irish are wonderful people but they are, to say the least, nosy.  The officers were accompanied by an Irish police sergeant who legally had to take my wife’s statement and physically hand it over to the UK police.  It was quite surreal.

Whilst J was being interviewed, HM sat in the front room answering my questions.  I asked to see the video of Paul Kenyon Confronts.  He took it out of his pocket and asked me to think.  If I did not see the video my testimony would be my recollections and not the info gleaned from a TV programme.  I agreed with him.  HM said he would let me have the video after the trial and this he did do.

During that time I was assured that I would be meeting the Prosecution Barrister, but this did not work out.  Whilst all this was going on work dropped off, owing to the state of the financial crisis.  This was another stick to beat myself with, a lot less work, less cash and more time to think about my dire situation.  For weeks and months my head was all courts, abuse, Robinson, nightmares, no sleep and too much time to spare.  It was a terrible time.  The only thing that really kept me going was J and my two brothers.  They phoned once a week to see how I was.  C always says to me that he sends all his love.  This I find very strange, not a bad feeling, but I can’t get used to it.  It took a paedophile 50 years ago to bring us all together.


15. The Interview

The statement went on and on.  For 5 ½ hours, with a ten minute tea break in the middle.  For as many questions that they asked me, I had questions for them.  But they could not answerer them. The interview went over my childhood, my abuse; over and over the same subjects, but from different angles.  I realize now they were probing me to reveal everything that I knew.  From what had happened, to any witnesses, to the time of year, the make of the motor bike, to my brothers, to my dad, to my mom, to Robinson’s mom (no I never met her, did she even exist?), to my marital status, to my step children.

Before the interview I made certain requests to which LE agreed.  First that I get a copy of my video interview after the trial; second that my mother is not to be  interviewed, as she was 86; and thirdly, my brother C is not to be interviewed, as me and C have never got on.  Since our childhood we could not be in the same room.  I did get on with B and they were going to interview him at some stage.

I cannot go into anymore of the interview, it went on for far too long.  All I can say is that, with my hand on my heart, I cried the whole time.  They kept asking me if I wanted to break.  But no, I was there, I was going to finish.  Of this I was certain.  I didn’t ask for this, but I certainly wasn’t going to back away.  After all, when I was 11, I was scared, now I’m 60.  I’m not scared any more, of Robinson or his church.  After the interview I drove back to K’s house, where I’d been staying, and cried and cried and cried.

I hope you never know how I and the other victims must have felt.  But the important thing was, I had done my duty.  I am so sorry it took me 49 years to do it.  Many other victims would have been spared what I went through and am still going through.  Yes I was ashamed that I hadn’t got the courage to shout out when I was 11.  I had no excuse, but fear.

On the next day, a Tuesday, I was leaving Lichfield at about 7 pm to catch Wednesday morning’s 2:30am ferry back to Ireland.  So on the Tuesday morning I decided that I had to go and visit B, to explain why the police wanted to interview him.  I go to his house and stopped around the corner.  It took me almost an hour to pluck up the courage needed to explain my situation.  I rang the door bell and his wife opened the door.  I asked where B was and then went down the garden to see him.  At this time I was crying.  He asked me what was the matter.  I explained that the police were going to call to interview him.  He asked why and that was when I told him.  He just stood there saying nothing.  Silence.  We had a few words as best as I could and I remember saying to him that mom and C are not to get involved.  We had a cup of tea and I left his home.  I told him I was going to see mom before I went home.

I got to the nursing home and was with my mother when C came walking in.  After a few minutes I asked C to come downstairs to the car as I wanted to show him something.  After a couple of tries he agreed and we went downstairs to the car.  As I opened the car door I burst out crying.  He sat next to me and said nothing, that’s the training our parents gave us.  Be quiet and say nothing.  I said to him that I had been abused by Robinson when I was 11and that I had been to the police to give an interview.